Italian operator insists it had no obligation to disclose a change in ownership to the government.

Vivendi and TIM have sent documents to the Italian government to present their views in the ongoing row over the telecoms incumbent’s ownership, it emerged this week.

The two companies met Wednesday’s deadline to share their opinions in the matter, an unnamed source told Reuters.

Vivendi is under scrutiny in Italy regarding its position as TIM’s largest shareholder and the influence that enables it to wield over the telco. The French firm built up its stake in Telecom Italia – now known by its operating brand TIM – over a period of years and now holds 23.94%.

Earlier this month Vivendi denied that exercises de facto control over the telco and said its stake in the company is not enough to give it a dominant influence at shareholder meetings.

Recent developments suggest otherwise though. Despite reporting strong results in recent quarters, TIM parted company with CEO Flavio Cattaneo a month ago, passing the baton – albeit temporarily – to Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, who also serves as the Italian telco’s chairman.

Reuters’ source claimed that TIM has reiterated that it believed it had no obligation to inform the government of a change in ownership. It would have such an obligation if Vivendi were judged to exercise control over the telco, since TIM is considered a strategic national asset.